Lindsay Merritt, PhD, MSW, BSW
Areas of Research & Specialization
My practice has focused on serving children, young people, adults, and elders with developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, and substance use disorders in day program, residential, and clinical settings. I am passionate about honoring the dignity and worth of individuals through the practice of radical love and incorporate this within my areas of research and evaluation. I strongly view research and evaluation as a form of resistance. Utilizing a community-based participatory action approach, I collaborate with local reservation-based tribal communities to develop, implement, and evaluate maternal child and behavioral health policy and programming. Likewise, I collaborate with local autistic adults to investigate micro, mezzo, and macro barriers to emotional health and well-being.
Why I Study Social Work
Growing up in a household with parents challenged by mental illness and substance use disorder, I was aware at a young age of the lack of pertinent supports and resources. It also wasn't lost on me how intimately I was affected, as I suffered subsequent child abuse and neglect. As soon as I was old enough, I started my social work practice and haven't looked back. However, it wasn't until a decade into my career that I learned I could go to school for social work. Studying social work has validated my thoughts and feelings, provided me with the tools and resources to advance social, cultural, economic, and environmental justice, and welcomed me into a loving, supportive local, national, and international community of professionals endlessly striving to effect change.
What I Would Tell a Student Considering Social Work
Social work has the power to be emancipatory, liberatory, and empowering. As an applied profession, we take the hard work to our sister disciplines (i.e. sociology, anthropology, economics, psychology, biology) and collaborate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and agencies to advance social, cultural, economic, and environmental change. Social workers can be found everywhere, from the familiar like child welfare, substance use, and mental health the less familiar like forensics, worker's rights, and end of life care. Passions abound in the social work profession. Where will your passion take you?
Chomos, J.C., Evans, W. P., Bolan, M., Merritt, L., Meyer, A., Novins, D. (2017). Using single case design to evaluate components of tribal home visitation programs. Infant Mental Health Journal, 39, 3, 335-346.
Jones, K. R., Merritt, L. N., Brown, A. N., Davidson, S., Nulliner, D. L., Smart, J., Walden, L., & Winges-Yanez, N. (2017). Case studies in sustainable social work: MSW students explore principles in practice. Journal of Sustainability Education, 12, ISSN: 2151-7452.
Phillips, L., Powers, L. E., Geenan, S., Schmidt, J., Winges-Yanez, N., Merritt, L. N., …The Research Consortium to Increase the Success of Youth in Foster Care. (2015). Better Futures: A validated model for increasing postsecondary preparation and participation of youth in foster care with mental health challenges. Children and Youth Services Review, 57, 50-59.
Merritt, L. N. (2017). Indigenous project launch evaluation grant writing for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Mission, Or.: Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center.
Merritt, L. N., & Gil-Kashiwabara, E. (2013). Átawišamataš (we love you all). Tribal maternal, infant, and early childhood (TMIECHV) community needs and readiness assessment: Highlights and key findings from the TMIECHV needs and readiness assessment. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Mission, Or.: Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center.
Merritt, L. N., & Gil-Kashiwabara, E. (2013). Átawišamataš (we love you all). A needs and maternal child health description for Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Mission, Or.: Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center.
Honor & Awards
2017 Presidential Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, Portland State University
2017 Student Achievement Award in Community Engagement, School of Social Work, Portland State University
2017 John F. Longres Dissertation Research Scholarship, Portland State University
2017 Student Fellow, Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University
2014 Dean Kristine Nelson Scholarship, Portland State University. Tuition support.
2010 President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, Portland State University